Restaurant review: City Social
- Credit: Archant
Sky’s the limit for chef’s tower triumph
Along with most London diners, I’m a big fan of super chef Jason Atherton so I was pretty excited about heading to his latest venture, City Social – even more so when it bagged a Michelin star just before my visit.
It occupies the entire 24th floor of a rather unlovely looking city tower, but once you get upstairs through the dedicated lift it all fits into place.
It’s a sultry, moody, art-deco inspired space incorporating restaurant, bar and private dining.
The first thing that hits you is the jaw-dropping view: you’re eating on a level with some famous London landmarks, and the booths have the nice touch of facing out to the skyline.
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Despite being big and busy, it managed to feel intimate, with attentive yet unintrusive service and a delicate hubbub around you.
The prohibition-era cocktails were immaculate, as was the wonderful bread and butter selection – always a good sign of things to come.
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Mr Atherton, along with executive chef Paul Walsh, have created a seasonal looking menu, heavy with game and fish, divided into cooked and uncooked, pasta and rice, mains and a grill section.
The guinea fowl terrine was wonderfully dark and moist, with a delicate hint of truffle and fantastic textured skin crisps with smooth parfait on the side.
Good as it was, this was knocked into a cocked hat by the salmon, which had all the inventive playfulness associated with Mr Atherton’s food.
Smoked to within an inch of its life, it arrived at the table in a sort of butter dish, which when opened allowed the most wonderful woody, piney aroma to waft across the table.
Dished up on a bed on celariac spaghetti and finished with a small helping of caviar, the taste was of a sublime fish and woodland combination, as though the salmon has just swam upstream to the forest to spawn before being hooked.
For the mains: the venison was a deep, and mysterious affair, with roasted fillet served pink and a shoulder slow cooked for days on end to melt in the mouth, and chestnuts and red cabbage to complete the autumnal extravaganza.
Also very impressive was the Dover sole – filleted for me (I’m lazy), the firm flesh came with slightly stodgy, but nicely tangy caper gnocchi and a light, lemony, citrus mousse to balance the whole thing out.
A suitably enthralling (and smelly) cheese board rounded proceedings off. City Social is a thoroughly impressive addition to Mr Atherton’s empire.
It’s ideal date fodder, and as they are holding space for walk ups on New Years Eve, it would be a magical way to ring in 2015.